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This chapter reads the performance of Juba and the Buzzard Lope dances by both slaves and their post-Emancipation descendants as a refusal of capitalism’s commodification of the body. In contrast to the violence enacted on the flesh by slavery in order to yield the disciplined body, Juba beating the flesh expresses and enhances sentience, without denying the animal. It recounts how Lydia Parrish’s and Alan Lomax’s collection of “authentic” African American music, chiefly from the Georgia Sea Islands, constitutes an official archive at the expense of the living transmission of performative poiēsis in black. Here is where the theory of para-semiosis is developed as the dynamic constitution of the world in the recombinant fluidity of multiple enactments of referentiality, whereby being human is enunciated in the flow. It is also where poiēsis in black is discussed as an instantiation of that para-semiosis.

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